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Mr.  Joseph Lafayette Gufford III

Mr. Joseph Lafayette Gufford III

Committed to You-We handle all things related to Family Law, Divorce, Paternity
  • Divorce, Family Law, Domestic Violence ...
  • Florida
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Lawyer Rating and Reviews
Legal Knowledge
Legal Analysis
Communication Skills
Ethics and Professionalism
Rating: 10 Lawyer Rating - 10 out of 10
Joe Gufford is a smart and effective communicator of his arguments and his critical thinking skills are superior.
Client Reviews
G. G. December 26, 2023
Excellent Legal Service and Staff Beyond compare!! Mr Gufford is far beyond what I will call legal representation. I would now call him a friend. If you want someone to represent you, take your money and disappear... don't call him. If you want a someone to really support you, guide you and truly counsel you... call him. Call him NOW. Excellent and truly so much appreciated!!!!
DANE S. December 9, 2023
Unethical - Failure To Perform Mr Gufford, is a bad lawyer. He comes across as caring and compassionate ONLY until you give him money, and then he is unresponsive and doesn’t do what is in the best interests of the client. In my case he did nothing - but kept the money. Literally nothing - other than file a ‘notice of appearance’. I fired him after a month into the case and he kept 100% of the retainer money which was $8100. My story: My wife’s sister is 74 years old suffers from dementia and was in a divorce from her husband of 27 years. She gets 700 a month in social security, was abused by her husband and about to be homeless on the street, from a very badly structured settlement she agreed to though coercion. I hired Gufford to get her bad settlement agreement re-negotiated. He did literally nothing. I contacted the opposing party myself and by threatening litigation they agreed to modify the settlement agreement. I then asked Gufford to finalize the NEW settlement agreement. Again nothing. He never responded to me, and more days went by. As anyone knows who has ever negotiated anything, when parties agree to a settlement, you need to move quickly to “seal the deal”. Again, Gufford could care less about it. He got his money. When I did finally reach him in a phone call… he barely remembered what the facts of the case were, and I had to explain to him what I wanted him to do, which was contact the Petitioner’s representatives and finalize the agreement. Guess what happened next – NOTHING. He never picked up the phone or contacted them. Another week goes by and the opposition changed their mind and started adding more things to the deal. By this time after all this lost momentum, I was completely frustrated and realized I had made a gigantic mistake hiring Gufford. He is not only a bad lawyer, but he also doesn’t care one iota about his client. So, I fired him. He still has all my retainer money and after numerous requests has not make one effort to return any of it. I plan on filing a complaint with the State bar and will next hire a Attorney to go after him that specializes in unethical lawyer cases.
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Joe Gufford has been a member of The Florida Bar since 1991. The Gufford Law Firm commitment is to provide exceptional client services that remain focused on results. We bring together attorneys and staff with decades experience.

At The Gufford Law Firm, we believe that both our attorneys and our staff must be knowledgeable about the specific areas of law that we practice in. That is why we ensure that each of our attorneys and staff members are constantly taking Continuing Legal Education courses so that we are up to date on the latest developments in the law. Joseph Gufford has also been a lecturer on legal developments to other members of the legal community. Additionally, not only is Joseph Gufford familiar with Courtroom procedures and local judges, but staff members are as well, as they frequently assist Mr. Gufford at trial. When Mr. Gufford has a trial or a complex hearing, the paralegal assigned to your matter will also be present. This allows Mr. Gufford to focus on the judge and his presentation in the Courtroom as opposed to fumbling about for exhibits or case law.

In each and every case involving a trial, Joe Gufford and his staff will prepare a trial notebook and a trial outline, that frequently becomes the guidebook for the trial. Not only is the trial notebook/outline helpful for the attorney but it frequently sets the pace and order of presentation of the evidence. The mere preparation of the trial notebook/outline forces the attorney and his staff to focus in on key issues long before the trial of the case. Ultimately, this process frequently results in a smoother and more precise presentation of the evidence. To learn more about the Joseph Gufford and the other lawyers at our firm, please review the profiles below or contact our office to schedule your free initial consultation.

Practice Areas
Collaborative Law, Contested Divorce, Military Divorce, Property Division, Same Sex Divorce, Spousal Support & Alimony, Uncontested Divorce
Family Law
Adoption, Child Custody, Child Support, Father's Rights, Guardianship & Conservatorship, Paternity, Prenups & Marital Agreements, Restraining Orders, Same Sex Family Law
Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, Victims Rights , Victims Rights
Estate Planning
Guardianship & Conservatorship Estate Administration, Health Care Directives, Trusts, Wills
Personal Injury
Animal & Dog Bites, Brain Injury, Car Accidents, Construction Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Premises Liability, Truck Accidents, Wrongful Death
Military Law
Veteran's Benefits
Elder Law
Arbitration & Mediation
Business - Arbitration/Mediation, Consumer - Arbitration/Mediation, Family - Arbitration/Mediation
Business Law
Business Contracts, Business Dissolution, Business Finance, Business Formation, Business Litigation, Franchising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Additional Practice Areas
  • Baker Act
  • General Civil
  • Marchman Act
  • Red Flag Law
  • Risk Protection Orders
  • Risk Protection Orders/Red Flag Law
Video Conferencing
  • Zoom
  • Free Consultation
    We believe strongly that the potential new client of the firm needs to get to know us and vice versa. We have to feel comfortable that we can accomplish the client's goals and the client has to feel comfortable that we can do the same. We do not accept every case that comes through the door, but, we do take the time to properly evaluate the situation and advise the client accordingly. Typically, our initial consultations last between 1-2 hours. During this time, we determine the status of the case, the client's goals and whether we can accomplish those goals given the various factors that exist. Many law offices charge for their initial consultations. We don't. While that results in a lot of time spent by us at no charge, we feel that regardless of whether you hire us or not, you will feel good about the experience and not just had a "meet and greet" session.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover
  • Contingent Fees
    In a very limited number of circumstances, we do accept cases on a contingency basis. However, in the area of family law, the Florida Bar has prohibited attorneys from taking on cases on a contingency type basis.
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    $300.00-$400.00 PER HOUR depending upon the complexity of the case. We tailor our retainers to meet the needs of each client. Some client's needs are greater than others. For example, a client may have a fairly simplistic needs with respect to the enforcement of alimony or child support. Other clients may need the massive collection of evidence and the involvement of experts such as psychologists, physicians or forensic accountants. That's why we do a full interview of a potential client so that we can identify the scope of the work that we are faced with. We also have a full staff of paralegals. Each of them has spent most of their professional lives doing family law. Cheryl started off in law enforcement. Donna started off in forensic accounting. Or receptionist, Marcia, worked for one lawyer for decades until her attorney retired. We were lucky to get her on board. So, you have a complete TEAM working for you and they charge a much lesser hourly rate than Mr. Gufford.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
  • Spanish: Spoken
Professional Experience
The Florida Bar
- Current
The Gufford Law Firm, P.A.
- Current
Chairman- Family Law Committee
The Martin County Bar Association
Stetson University College of Law
J.D. | Law
Honors: 3rd Place Stetson College of Law Closing Argument Competition
Stetson University College of Law Logo
University of Florida
B.A. | Political Science
University of Florida Logo
10.0 Rating
Justia Inc
Client Champion - Platinum
Top Ten Rated Divorce Attorney
Rated 10.0 Superb by
Client's Choice Award 2012
Client's Choice Award 2012
Top Contributor for Divorce
Board of Directors
Florida Rural Legal Services
Board of Directors Florida Rural Legal Services 2010
Pro Bono Service Award
Martin County Bar Association
2008-2009 Martin County Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award Martin County Bar Association 2009
Professional Associations
Florida Bar, Family Law Section  # 0879576
- Current
Activities: The mission of the Family Law Committee is to promote the highest standards of professionalism and legal advocacy in the delivery of a wide array of family law services to Florida families as it seeks the consistent, fair, and expeditious administration of justice.
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Florida Bar Association  # 0879576
- Current
Activities: 31 years of practice in the areas of Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody, Alimony, Child Support, Domestic Violence, Marchman Act Cases, Baker Act Cases, Guardianships, Conservatorships, Adoptions, Parental Relocation under 61.13001, Temporary and Concurrent Custody by Relatives.
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Martin County Bar Association, Family Law Committee
Activities: Working with fellow members of the Bar and the Judiciary on family law issues in the 19th Judicial Circuit. Also lecturing in the arena of family law with both the Bench and the Bar's involvement.
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Florida Rural Legal Services
Board Member for the State of Florida
Activities: Working on the statewide Board of Directors of Florida Rural for the purposes of budgeting and programming for the delivery of pro bono legal services for the poor.
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Florida Equal Justice Center
Board Member for the State of Florida
Activities: Justice-involved veterans are those who have previously served in the armed forces and have been arrested or incarcerated. These veterans are at high risk for psychiatric and substance disorders such as depression, violent behavior, homelessness, and alcohol abuse. Without the proper care and mental health treatment, the people who protected our nation, face a cycle of incarceration and substance dependency on levels higher than average justice-involved adults.
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American Association for Justice
Activities: For over 70 years, AAJ has successfully defended Americans’ right to trial by jury. It fight continues each and every day to protect our practices, our clients’ rights, and our civil justice system.
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Speaking Engagements
Changes to Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes Seminar, Conference of the Bench and the Bar in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties, Stuart, Florida
Martin County Family Law Committee
In 2008, the legislature made dramatic modifications to child custody and child support laws. This was a CLE course which was presided over by Mr. Gufford with a panel of Judges and questions & answer session and substantive materials authored by Mr. Gufford.
Level 1 Firearms Instructor- almost completed
OK Corral Gun Club Competition Park Safety Certification Assessment
OK Corral Gun Club
Websites & Blogs
Main Website for Divorce and Family Law Attorneys- The Gufford Law Firm
Website for The Gufford law Firm
Joseph Gufford Lawyer- The Gufford Law Firm Family Law and Divorce Attorneys
The Gufford Law Firm on Facebook
Legal Answers
8 Questions Answered
Q. Will a Florida Judge order my 13 year old daughter to be returned to her grandmother that lives in a retirement home?
A: I really need more background on the case to get an understanding of the nature of the claims being made and the procedural history of that matter. Courts are almost always going to recognize the superiority of a parent over a non-parent. That being said, there are situations such as abuse , abandonment and neglect that might have an impact on those natural rights that parents have over non-parents.
Q. What sleeping arrangements does he need to provide for my daughter when she stays with them? My daughter is 8.
A: Having a separate bedroom is not a requirement. But, that being said, such a small living place cannot be sufficient for so many people, regardless of whether they are children or adults. Consult with a qualified family law attorney ASAP
Q. I need some answers on how I can get my child back. My child was taken because of domestic violence
A: I’m not sure if the injunction was a civil one, a DCF injunction or a criminal no contact order. It may be a combination of things. In any event, you need to file an action for dissolution of marriage or a paternity action. I would strongly suggest that you hire a qualified family law attorney to do this for you as it appears complex due to the overall scenario
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Contact & Map
The Gufford Law Firm, P.A.
Stuart, FL 34994
Toll-Free: (866) 603-9936
Telephone: (772) 221-1922
Fax: (772) 221-1990
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